Annual results 2001

All press releasesApr 12, 2002

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MEDIA INFORMATION

Paris, 12th April 2002

WITH SALES OF 7.5 BILLION SWISS FRANCS AND ORGANIC GROWTH AT 11.7 % IN 2001, PERRIER VITTEL IS CONTINUING ITS GROWTH ON A SOLID FOUNDATION AND IS CHANGING ITS NAME TO NESTLE WATERS

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  • 24.7 % growth in sales
  • Leading position with 16 % market share
  • Record organic growth of 11.7 %
  • 11 acquisitions for a total of 500 million Swiss francs
  •  41 % increase in Home & Office Delivery revenue
  •  Creation of the Nestlé Water Technology Centre at Vittel
  •  Maintenance of a high level of industrial investment at 11 % of sales in 2001

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In 2001, Perrier Vittel’s sales reached 7.5 billion Swiss francs (close to 5 billion Euros) an increase of almost 25 % compared to 2000. Perrier Vittel strengthened its position as world leader in the bottled water sector, going from 15.5% to 16 % market share.

The progression of Perrier Vittel’s operating result was in absolute value + 23 % compared to 2000. The current operating income was 618 million Swiss francs. This represents an operational margin (EBITA) of 8.3 %.

The rate of organic growth reached a record level of + 11.7 % with internal growth of + 9.1 % and price increases of 2.6 %.

The majority of regions have contributed to this growth as Perrier Vittel registered growth superior to market levels in all regions in the world. In Europe and in North America, representing 72 % of the world market and registering an 8 % increase in consumption per capita, Perrier Vittel realised 93 % of its sales and showed organic growth of + 11.1 %. In these 2 regions it consolidated its leadership with market shares of 16 % and more than 31%, respectively.

This growth is the result of the strategy that has been put into practice by Perrier Vittel since 1993. This water-centred strategy aims to make Perrier Vittel a real global player relying on a worldwide network of brands which are present on all distribution channels. This strategy prioritises the consolidation of positions in Europe and in North America through the development of strong brands and through acquisitions offering real synergies.

The further development of Perrier Vittel in the rest of the world is based on the growth of Nestlé PURE LIFE, a brand first launched in 1999, and now available in twelve countries ; targeted acquisitions, favouring value over volume; and the development of the Home and Office business.

For the past two years, this strategy has given rise to important developments. First of all, it has been put into practice through an active policy of renovation and innovation. After the successful launch of Nestlé Aquarel in 6 European countries in the middle of 2000, Perrier Vittel introduced 9 major innovations across the primary brands of the Group. Furthermore, 50 new bottle shapes were designed. In addition, 11 acquisitions were made, representing on an annual basis 950 million litres and generating more than 500 million Swiss francs in additional sales.

North American expertise in Home and Office distribution, a sector which totalled sales of 850 million Swiss francs in North America in 1999, has since been extended through various acquisitions and launches to 13 new countries, and today achieves 16 % of the Group’s sales with 1.2 billion Swiss francs. This revenue enables the group to remain the world leader in this activity.

As to research and development, Perrier Vittel has created the Nestlé Water Technology Centre in Vittel (France), concentrating all of the Group’s expertise. It brings together the activities of research and analysis dedicated to the protection of spring sources as well as the creation of new products. It will bring together a team of several dozen talented people.

Finally, in order to support its growth, in 2001 Perrier Vittel maintained a high level of capital investment equivalent to 11 % of sales and participated in all cost reduction and productivity programs introduced by Nestlé. In such a context, given the dynamism of the bottled water sector, which today represents more than 9 % of overall sales of Nestlé S.A., Perrier Vittel is changing its name and from now on will be known as Nestlé Waters.

This new name expresses both the recognition of the future contribution that Nestlé Waters will be making to its parent company and also constitutes a new stage in the consolidation of its long term leadership of the rapidly expanding global bottled water market.

Mr. Frits van Dijk – the CEO of Nestlé Waters – announced his intention to maintain a higher level of growth than the world market growth predictions set at 6 to 8 % per year, and to continue increasing profitability.

For further information:
Media Contact: Candy Miller
Tel: +33 (0) 1.41.23.39.74
Fax: +33 (0) 1.41.23.37.67
Email: candy.miller@waters.nestle.com
Press room : www.nestle-waters/press.com

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